What makes your Valentines Day special?
Do you need the flowers? Are chocolates mandatory? Do you hope for a personalized card? Perhaps you need your man to go all-out with the fancy dinner, fine wine and maybe a drive out in the country to dance under the stars?
My idea of a 'special' Valentines Day is having something unexpected. I love the idea of making an otherwise-normal day into something fun; Valentines Day doesn't merit time off work like Christmas or Easter does, but I still want that day to feel like a holiday. Some people don't care for Valentines Day, or intentionally make a point of not celebrating it as though it detracts from over-all romance to be told which specific day you need to celebrate your relationship. I am not one such person. It's nice to have a day designated to celebrating your romance, especially when all the world understands where you're coming from. You know how at Christmas you can wear a santa hat and no one thinks you're crazy? On Valentines Day, you can be in la-la land all day, eat copious amounts of chocolate and get gifts at work, and no one questions why.
Anyway, every year since Matt and I started dating, I've made an effort to do something a bit quirky for our celebration. One year I set up a bistro table in the living room with a rose on the table and special dessert. I've made him a 'menu' for the evening, where I listed activities and he got to choose an 'appetizer', 'entree' and 'dessert' (things like board games, going for coffee, watching a movie of his choosing, catching a local show, etc). One year I made him lamb chops for dinner and then ended up taking him to the hospital because he cut his hand... that one was unplanned... And last year I made our house into a bit of a Valentines Explosion - I hung a banner on our front window that said "The world's greatest husband lives here!", I made hearts in the snow with colored water, I hung heart garlands through the house and I hid 2 dozen handmade valentines through his clothes, his van, his work binder, his bedside table, his side of the bed and more, all of which he found throughout the day. (I even set some alarms on his phone so mid-day he'd get "I love you" reminders!)
This year, the ball is in his court. I gave him fair warning, and expressed that it was his turn to come up with something unexpected. Of course, I didn't think about the fact that we'd be right in the middle of renovations when the day came, so I'm not sure what he has planned, but we might have to work around rolls of carpet in our hallways and a headboard in our dining room. We've got a LifeGroup meeting that night too, so we don't get an actual 'date' time, so whatever the unexpected thing is, our kids will be in tow. Hopefully I didn't make it too hard for his first year of the quirky planning!
Of course, I can't just do nothing for Valentines Day, so I told him I had dinner plans covered: we're going to have a picnic in our living room! We'll set pillows on the floor around our pallet coffee table, which will likely have a nice table cloth on it, and we'll have borscht, asparagus spears with roasted cherry tomatoes, crab legs and possibly pasta of some sort (probably tortellini in a rose sauce). I'll have a few special things ready for the kids' sake, like pomegranate seeds frozen in ice cubes, and a jello and whipped cream dessert - and everything will of course be red. Our kids are old enough that the mess should be contained, and they'll love the novelty of eating dinner on the floor. I made these crepe paper kissing balls last year, which I'll bring out for a centerpiece this year, and of course there will be valentines from the kids to daddy waiting on the table.
Mrs. VanderLeek ;)